Welcome to another edition of our NBA Preview.
Below is a breakdown of my top picks at each position for tonight’s games at PlayON. Once you’ve seen who I like, be sure to join a game and win some cash.
If you’re new to PlayON, be sure to take advantage of their first-time depositor’s bonus, where a deposit of $20 will get you an extra $22 entry free. Claim your free entry now.
Point guard – Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards: $6.8 million
Satoransky’s last time out was his worst fantasy performance in his new role as a starter, recording only 16.9 fantasy points on the night. However, that performance is offset by his 36.6 performance three games ago, thereby keeping his average over that time at 24.9, the same range as the other four performances all fell in. The 16.9 individual performance doesn’t have bad fantasy value at this price itself, either, and so while more should be expected than that, Sato right now is a good pick regardless.
Point guard – Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors: $8.6 million
Quietly, VanVleet has made himself into an excellent backup point guard at the NBA level. Through a scoring efficiency that should not be gettable in one so small, he has averaged 28.4 fantasy points over his past seven games, much of which has come from his own scoring game. Undersized and not explosive, VanVleet is doing a lot through guile alone.
Shooting guard – Tyler Dorsey, Atlanta Hawks: $5.7 million
Marco Belinelli has been removed from the Hawks’ wing rotation pending a trade, and while there does exist the possibility that he is not traded today and thus re-inserted into the line-up, all reports are that it will definitely happen. Dorsey has stepped into his role of late, and recorded a 15.3 fantasy point average over the past six games. It is not a huge nor inspiring amount, and nor is it consistent – however, coming into the league as a shooter, Dorsey has already found NBA range (47.3% three-point shooting) and is playing with poise and hustle on the court. His role will only grow from here.
Shooting guard – Josh Hart, L.A. Lakers: $6.7 million
Having experimented with Tyler Ennis, Alex Caruso and Jordan Clarkson at point guard, the Lakers have ultimately gone with Hart at point guard in the absence of Lonzo Ball. And he has been excellent. Hart has recorded a 36.6 fantasy point average over the last three games with three point and rebound double-doubles in that span. How he does that when so short is a mystery, but nevertheless, with Ball out again, capitalise here.
Small forward – Treveon Graham, Charlotte Hornets: $6.0 million
Over the last four games, Graham has played a larger scoring role than usual, and has recorded a 20.4 fantasy point average. The entire Hornets team has picked up the pace and the scoring of late, and Graham is one of the beneficiaries of that. Despite having mere wing size and not much athleticism, he is even getting some time at power forward. Whatever the reason he gets on the court. he is producing.
Small forward – Mario Hezonja, Orlando Magic: $7.3 million
Hezonja’s streaky role continues. Through a combination of spot-ups, slightly wild curls and a definite affinity for grabbing the rebound and going coast to coast, he has averaged 27.0 fantasy points over the last six games. It is still unclear as to which position on the court is truly his. As of right now, though, that does not matter.
Power forward – Mike Scott, Washington Wizards: $7.5 million
Power forward – Markieff Morris, Washington Wizards: $10.8 million
Both Wizards power forwards are on good runs right now. Morris has averaged 32.1 fantasy points over the past eight games on a tight range of outings between 24.0 and 36.8, doing so with contributions across the box score rather than through any particular scoring surge, which bodes well for its continuation. Scott meanwhile is getting back to the scoring stretch through which he had re-established his NBA career earlier in the season, averaging 19.4 fantasy points over his last five games through his sweet touch from everywhere.
Power forward – Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks: $8.6 million
Recently, Powell has been moved into the Mavericks’ starting line-up, and is responding in his production. He has averaged 25.2 fantasy points over the past four games, doing so through hustle, athleticism and rolling to the rim. He is also improving his jump shooting finally, making some mid-range pick-and-pop looks and also hitting 5-9 on three-pointers from the corners. When he can shoot from above the break to match it (only 8-41), he will truly take the next step – as it is, he is a productive starter now, which gives him fantasy value.
Centre – Daniel Theis, Boston Celtics: $7.0 million
With 99.9 fantasy points scored over the past five games, Theis offers a solid and consistent centre option on tonight’s slate. Greg Monroe’s imminent arrival will necessitate changes to the Celtics’ big man rotation; however, Greg Monroe is also a very poor basket defender. And so someone like Theis, who isn’t, will still be needed in there somehow.
Centre – Bismack Biyombo, Orlando Magic: $8.5 million
There has been a slight uptick for Biyombo after a lull, averaging 25.5 fantasy points per game no matter how many point blank looks he rushes and misses. There is therefore still fantasy value for as long as he starts. Be advised, however, that a return to action for Nikola Vucevic is very close now.
As with all NBA slates, we need to be sure to avoid certain players each night.
Here’s who you should steer clear of.
DO NOT PICK DUE TO INJURY/ABSENCE/SUSPENSION: De’Andre Bembry, Tyler Cavanaugh, Marco Belinelli (Atlanta), Shane Larkin, Marcus Smart, Gordon Hayward (Boston), Nerlens Noel, Harrison Barnes, Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith, Jonathan Motley (Dallas), Jordan Bell, Kevin Durant (Golden State), Lonzo Ball (L.A. Lakers), Enes Kanter, Kristaps Porzingis, Ron Baker, Joakim Noah (New York), Andre Roberson, Carmelo Anthony (Oklahoma City), Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, Jonathan Isaac, Terrence Ross, Jonathan Simmons (Orlando), Evan Turner, C.J. Wilcox (Portland), John Wall, Sheldon Mac (Washington)
That’s all for today’s analysis. Be sure to get your line-ups in!